Pollution Prevention Northwest Newsletter
Published by the Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
Summer 2002


Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
       If you’ve been a regular reader of P2NW and other P2 publications over the last few years, the concept of “green”, or environmentally preferable, purchasing is probably not new to you. A couple of years ago, the Fall 1999 issue of this newsletter focused on some of the drivers and how to make a green purchasing program work. This issue picks up where the earlier issue left off and provides some updates on what’s happening in practice, and discusses some of the challenges and successes found by Northwest purchasers.

 
CONTENTS:
dot Is It Really Green?
dot It Costs More
dot It’s Difficult
dot Making It Permanent
dot Meet Our Staff
dot News Digest
dot About this Newsletter

        Green purchasing entails buying products that have the same quality and performance as their competing products, but generate less waste, involve fewer toxics in manufacturing, use less energy, have recycled content, or have other desired “green” qualities.
        Motivations for purchasing green range from saving money, protecting worker health, helping to drive demand for more sustainable products, or simply “doing the right thing.”
        coinDespite these reasons, challenges exist for starting or running a green purchasing program. Read on for a discussion of some of the most common challenges and some solutions used by Northwest agencies and businesses.

CHALLENGE: Is It Really Green?

        Environmentally preferred products have a reduced effect on human health and the environment when compared with competing products that serve the same purpose. This comparison may consider raw materials acquisition, production, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, reuse, operation, maintenance, or disposal of the product.
        In many product categories purchasers have no shortage of choices but very little readily-available environmental information. Some products claim to be green or earth-friendly, but don’t include information to back up the manufacturer’s claim. So, how do you verify that the product is actually green?

SOLUTION: Look to the Federal Trade Commission’s “Green Guides”
        The “Guides for Use of Environmental Marketing Claims” or “Green Guides” were established by the FTC to ensure that environmental claims are appropriately used in product marketing and advertising. For example, manufacturers must avoid overstating environmental attributes and claims. Although primarily a tool for manufacturers, familiarity with these Guides can help purchasers become savvy evaluators of environmental claims made by companies. The Guides can be accessed at http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/grnrule/guides980427.htm.

SOLUTION: Rely on credible third-party sources.
        A number of third party organizations provide a variety of services to assess the “greenness” of products. Among these, some develop environmental standards for specific product categories, some certify specific environmental claims while others offer more comprehensive eco-labeling or certification services.
        A few examples include Green Seal, http://www.greenseal.org (consumer products); the Certified Forest Products Council, http://www.certifiedwood.org and Greenwood, http://www.greenwood.org (wood products); LEED green building rating system, http://www.usgbc.org/LEED/LEED_main.asp (new construction and building renovation projects), Science Certification Systems, http://www.scs1.com/environmental1.shtml (environmental certification of a range of products); Energy Star, http://www.energystar.gov (energy efficient products); and Green-E, http://www.green-e.org/ (electricity).
        For a comprehensive listing of standards and information about organizations that have developed them, check out EPA’s Database of Environmental Information on Products and Services at http://yosemite1.epa.gov/oppt/eppstand2.nsf. You can search by product category or simply browse through the “shopping mall” of information.
        In a regional example, the King Street Center, built using LEED principles, features a water reclamation system that saves 1.4 million gallons of water annually and has saved King County approximately $100,000 on energy costs since 1999. More details are available at http://dnr.metrokc.gov/dnrp/ksc_tour/.

SOLUTION: Go directly to the source.
        Despite the wealth of information that third-party sources can provide, there are still information gaps to determine which product is truly environmentally preferable. Contacting vendors and manufacturers directly can help purchasers make informed decisions.
        When the regional EPA office in Seattle needed to replace old photocopy machines, staff wanted best value: a model that was “greenest” and which met performance and price considerations. They spoke directly with vendors and manufacturers to develop an informational matrix, comparing the machines on a range of environmental criteria. Some of the environmental attributes considered were low dust and ozone emissions, product take back, reduced packaging, and third-party certification.
        In an effort to simplify this process for green construction, ASTM International (a nonprofit organization that develops voluntary consensus standards for materials, products, systems, and services) released a questionnaire that facilitates the process of collecting information from vendors for green building products. The standard is a series of yes/no questions (with an option to elaborate) to be completed by manufacturers regarding the life cycle impact of their products. It is hoped that a standardized practice of information collection will benefit both design and manufacturing communities by providing consistent data for analysis.
        When purchasers communicate directly with vendors and manufacturers, they can help influence development of greener products.
        The State of Washington worked directly with computer manufacturer Dell to reduce and recycle the Styrofoam packaging that comes with the computers it buys. Similarly, the City of Seattle worked with computer manufacturer Gateway on these issues, and has worked to eliminate the advertising and large number of manuals included with each computer. With a large contract and an ongoing relationship, manufacturers can be quite receptive to customer requests.
        Working directly with manufacturers promotes the greening of the supply chain, which is a key component to the larger issue of sustainability. For more information about greening the supply chain, including techniques, case studies, who is doing it, and more links on the topic, check out PPRC’s online resource at visit http://www.pprc.org/pubs/topics/grnchain.

New to Green Purchasing?
Take a Look At These Resources:

Green Purchasing Overview and Resource List
http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/topics/envpurch.html

How to Start and Operate a Green Purchasing Program (and who else is doing it)
http://www.pprc.org/pubs/topics/epr/purchase.html

Green Purchasing Topic Hub
http://www.p2ric.org/TopicHubs/toc.cfm?hub=13&subsec=7&nav=7

Pollution Prevention Northwest – Fall 1999 Green Purchasing Drivers, Making A Program Work
http://www.pprc.org/pprc/pubs/newslets/news1199.html

Center For A New American Dream: Procurement Strategies
http://www.newdream.org/procure

EPA’s Environmental Preferable Purchasing Site
http://www.epa.gov/opptintr/epp/

 

CHALLENGE: Environmentally Preferable Products Cost More

        Although this isn’t always the case, often green products do cost more, at least when simply comparing initial purchase price tags. The bottom line is a major factor in purchasing decisions, so how can purchasers justify or bring down the cost of environmentally preferable products?

SOLUTION: Aggregate purchasing.
        Costco is successful for a reason; buying in bulk saves money. Purchasing collectives can do the same thing.
        WSCA, the Western States Contracting Alliance, has a nationwide computer contract. Volume purchasing allows price breaks on computing equipment, and over the last three years, the Alliance has saved buyers over $2.1 billion. The State of Washington has worked to integrate some environmental concerns into these existing contracts, and plans to do additional work in this area.
        coin purseGreenOrder is another example of a purchasing collective. It is a resource for institutional buyers (and suppliers) of energy efficient, recycled, and other environmentally preferable products. The group works to facilitate sales of green products in hundreds of categories from office supplies and computers to cleaners and construction materials, and by supporting volume purchasing, aims to reduce costs for buyers. Buyers pay a subscription for the service. More information is available from http://www.greenorder.com.
        The Recycled Paper Coalition includes several hundred large paper purchasers from both the public and private sectors. The Coalition’s objective is to bring purchasing strength to the recycled paper market by stimulating demand for postconsumer content recycled paper products. It tallies paper usage statistics from its membership annually: in 2001 members collectively purchased 160,000 tons of green paper. Although the members don’t purchase paper as a group, over time its collective purchasing strength can help shift the supply and price of greener paper.

SOLUTION: Consider full cost accounting.
        Sometimes the purchase price doesn’t tell the whole story. Look at the full cost, not just the initial purchase cost of a product.
        When considering the purchase of new computer monitors recently, the City of Seattle opted to buy flat screen monitors, rather than the larger cathode ray tube monitors. Although the initial purchase price is higher, it’s still a better value when examining the costs associated with energy, desk space, longevity, user satisfaction and disposal. See box below for more information.
        For a look at how the City of Portland performed a simplified life cycle method on sewer pipe options, and developed recommendations about environmentally preferred options, take a look at http://www.cleanrivers-pdx.org/pollution_prevention/archive/pipe.asp.

SOLUTION: Use innovative financing and rebates.
        Many financial assistance options are available for purchase of environmentally preferable products, from rebates to leasing programs to innovative contracts.
        In the Puget Sound area, businesses can take advantage of rebates on a range of water saving items, including washing machines, ice machines, toilets and urinals, commercial irrigation systems, and process water systems. Financial incentives of up to half the purchase price make this a “no brainer” for qualified purchasers. Read more about the Water Smart Technology Program at http://www.ci.seattle.wa.us/util/RESCONS/wst/default.htm.
        In Portland, the city took advantage of a leasing program to swap out virtually all the city’s incandescent red and green traffic signals for energy efficient LED lamps. The technology cost, energy cost and available financing opportunities together allowed the city to realize nearly $400,000 annual savings, with no capital budget. See box entitled "Smart Financing" for more details.
        Energy Savings Performance Contracts (ESPCs) allow large facilities to fund energy efficiency improvements virtually risk-free with no upfront financing. Private sector companies pay for the equipment costs and installation, and receive a portion of the energy cost-savings for a specified period, often 10 years, after which the contract is complete. The world’s largest Coast Guard facility based on Kodiak Island, Alaska is saving $750,000 annually after improvements to boiler, heating and lighting systems, and installation of storm doors throughout the base. ESPCs are available to a wide array of private and public entities. Check these sources for more information: Oregon Energy Office (http://www.energy.state.or.us/school/perfcontract.htm), Washington General Administration (http://www.ga.wa.gov/eas/epc/ESPC.htm) Energy Services Coalition (http://www.escperform.org), and the Federal Energy Management Program (http://www.eren.doe.gov/femp/financing/espc.html).

SOLUTION: Establish creative and beneficial partnerships.
        Working with another group may provide new funding opportunities. For example, the Seattle car sharing program Flexcar’s partnership with Metro King County made the company eligible to receive a $150,000 grant to add hybrid vehicles to Flexcar’s fleet.

SOLUTION: Consider price preferences.
        Many governments specify price preferences for environmentally preferable products, and to overcome “lowest bid” requirements. The State of Alaska allows a price adjustment for recycled-content products, the State of Idaho for recycled paper and recycled motor oil products, and King County for recycled paper products and re-refined oil as well. These policies are just a drop in the bucket; many other agencies do this too.

Look at Life Cycle Costs

When considering the purchase of new computer monitors, the City of Seattle opted to buy flat screen monitors, rather than the larger CRT monitors. Although the flat panels have a higher initial cost, when examining their full costs, the accountants decided that the flat panel displays were a better purchase. They:
* use less than a third of the energy required for a traditional CRT monitor,
* take up less desk space,
* reduce user eyestrain, and
* can be returned for recycling at the end of their life.

Calculate the energy and space savings your organization could realize with flat panel monitors using this handy calculator: http://www.hp.com/cgi-bin/desktops/saving/saving.

Learn more about the topic at EPA’s Full Cost Accounting site at http://www.epa.gov/epaoswer/non-hw/muncpl/fullcost/.

P2 & Green Purchasing: Keys to Sustainability
Purchasing is a powerful market tool to drive demand for products that prevent pollution, are resource efficient, and protect our regional environment ~ all key concepts of sustainability.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

By the Numbers
(mostly) Northwest Government Purchases

433,484: quarts of re-refined oil (purchased by 3 local governments in 2001)

389,558: reams of recycled content copy paper that exceeds the federal recycled content standard (purchased by 6 groups, including federal, state and local government and PPRC in 2001)

83: hybrid electric vehicles (purchased by 4 local governments)

1.3 million: kilowatt hours of green energy (purchased in 2001 by one local government and one small business)

25.7 million: dollars spent on green products, including floor coverings, lighting, energy efficient equipment and vehicles, fuel, building materials, cleaning products, etc. (purchased over 1 year by one state purchasing department)


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Did
you
know?

Oregon is among the leading states promoting the LEED green building standards, with Portland registering more projects for certification than any other city in the country!
Source: Oregon Natural Step Network

 

Seattle is home to the third largest seller of Toyota Prius vehicles in the US (#1 is in San Francisco and #2 in Los Angeles).

This dealership has sold about 100 Prius cars each year since the vehicle was introduced to the US 3 years ago.

There are 25 “Prius Certified” Toyota dealerships in Washington State, 20 in Oregon, 8 in Idaho, and 1 in Alaska.

 

Smart Financing

stoplightThe City of Portland struck upon a clever way to replace nearly all the city’s red and green incandescent traffic signals (over 13,300 individual lamps) with energy efficient alternatives. By leasing the lights and taking advantage of state tax credits, Portland now saves $380,000 a year in energy and maintenance costs. In addition, net payback is less than 3 years, and the entire $2.2 million project was completed with no capital investment!

See a factsheet about the project at http://www.sustainableportland.org/
news_LED_case_study.pdf
or contact Curt Nichols at 503-823-7418.

CHALLENGE: It’s Too Difficult

        If you’re a purchaser, and you already feel that the work day is too short to finish everything on your “to do” list, figuring out what products are greener may seem like just one more thing there’s no time to do. There’s no “Cliffs Notes” or one-size-fits-all road map to green purchasing, so how do you make it easy?

SOLUTION: Make green procurement standard procedure.
        Starbucks buys green coffee and teas, paper fiber and wood products. The company integrates green purchasing into procurement by specifying it as an integral part of the purchasing process. According to Ben Packard, Director of Environmental Affairs, Starbuck’s perspective is that green purchasing is simply another set of considerations for purchasing, not different from criteria such as buying “Made in America” or from minority- or women-owned businesses. He points out that if green purchasing is touted as being too different or too “big,” people will shy away, since it seems difficult.

SOLUTION: Provide training to purchasers.
        Training can help purchasers understand and integrate environmentally preferable purchasing concepts into “business as usual.”
        Newly hired purchasers at Starbucks receive training on green purchasing, along with best management practices, ethics, and other purchasing criteria that the company supports. Starbucks also arranges additional training on specific topics. For example, a recent buyer training was held in conjunction with the Certified Forest Products Council to educate the company’s purchasers about sustainable wood products.
        At the Portland Water Bureau, much of the staff is nearing retirement. Within the next five years, half the staff will be new. So, they’re preparing now to institute sustainability training so that the concepts will be second nature to new staff as they come on board.
        A comprehensive interactive online training is available from EPA. Aimed toward federal purchasers, it is also useful for large institutional purchasers. It includes over 2 dozen topics and self-evaluation tests. See it at http://www.epa.gov/oppt/epp/gentt.

SOLUTION: Learn from others.
        Don’t reinvent the wheel! Interest in green purchasing is growing and lots of groups, particularly government programs, are happy to share their experience and suggestions.
        King County provides an example of model green purchasing policy (http://www.metrokc.gov/procure/green/mdpolicy.htm) as well as a collection of environmental purchasing bulletins on a range of commonly used products (http://www.metrokc.gov/procure/green/bulindex.htm).
        A list of other green purchasing tools, including guidance documents, publications, databases and more, is available at http://www.metrokc.gov/procure/green/EPPtools.htm.
        To keep in touch with others engaged in green purchasing, sign onto EPPNet, a listserve for purchasers and policy developers (vendors are not granted access to the listserve). Read more about the list, including how to subscribe at http://www.nerc.org/eppnet.html.

SOLUTION: Market the idea internally.
        Sometimes the challenge comes simply from unfamiliarity with a product or idea. Portland Metro performed a study on duplexing rates at agency copy machines and found that significant improvements were possible by posting signs and encouraging staff at meetings and through agency emails to use duplexing features. The effort has reduced Metro’s use of copy paper by 100,000 sheets annually.

Did
you
know?

Alaska has the highest computer ownership per household in the US. With 62.4% of Alaskan households having computers, not including computers in businesses or schools (more than 90% of all Alaskan elementary, middle, and high schools have computers).
Source: Green Star, Anchorage

 

Overall, electronics waste represents as much as 5% of the US municipal solid waste stream, or 3.2 million tons annually. That amount is expected to jump four-fold in the next few years.
Source: US EPA

 

Consumer electronics currently constitute 40% of the lead found in landfills. About 70% of the heavy metals (including mercury and cadmium) found in landfills originates from e-waste.
Source: US EPA

CHALLENGE: Institutionalizing Change

        Another enduring challenge is how to ensure that green purchasing becomes an integral part of the purchasing process. Momentum is likely to fade as an internal champion moves on to a new position, an administration changes, the company is sold to a new owner, a new funding cycle begins or budget cuts hit. So how does a green purchasing program become ingrained at an organization?

SOLUTION: Cultivate an environment that encourages creative problem solving.
        Taking a problem and figuring out how to make it into an opportunity is a valuable skill, and if successful, can be financially rewarding.
        The Northwest has long had air quality issues associated with burning the remaining stubble after agricultural harvesting. Meadowood Industries, Inc. in Oregon (http://www.meadowoodindustries.com) used this opportunity to develop new products made from ryegrass, including structural boards and decorative products made from agricultural grasses.
        Since agricultural waste is specifically listed in Washington’s Recycled Procurement Guidelines, it has provided an opportunity for the state Department of Ecology to discuss the manufacture of straw-based products with stakeholders, including the potential manufacture of strawboard (a non-toxic product used in place of medium density fiberboard, manufactured without formaldehyde) or pulp for straw-based paper.

SOLUTION: Establish sustainability or targeted purchasing teams.
        Developing and supporting teams can be an effective way to do research, generate ideas, and help instill changes within an organization.
        In Portland, a Sustainable Infrastructure Team has been created that includes the three primary infrastructure bureaus (Environmental Services, Transportation, and Water) in addition to the Office of Sustainable Development. The SI Team meets regularly and has researched existing systems, standards and guidelines. The Team will develop recommendations for standards or guidelines for sustainable city infrastructure. Although purchasing isn’t the main focus of the Team, it will be addressed as part of the larger issue of sustainability.
        teamFive city/county task forces in the Portland area are examining specific commodities and developing new sustainable purchasing guidelines for paper, building materials, office furniture, automotive vehicles and cleaning and coating products. Work is ongoing, and recommendations are expected by year’s end.
        In Seattle, the city has developed a Commodity Team that examines types of products and ways to work with vendors to purchase greener products such as computers and cleaning products. See a summary of the team’s activities at http://www.cityofseattle.net/purchasing/purchasingservices/ctinnovations.htm.
        The Federal Network for Sustainability is a collection of federal programs in the Northwest and beyond. Currently FNS is working on an initiative to increase the use of greener paper, electronic product stewardship, environmental management systems and procurement of green power. FNS is an example of a distributed coalition of groups forming a team. More information on the group’s activities is available at http://www.federalsustainability.org.

SOLUTION: Set goals and internal standards.
        Creating green purchasing goals can lead to significant impacts.
        The Portland Office of Sustainable Development changed their standards for vehicle purchases and now buys less fuel as a result. Ford Focus vehicles get 28 mpg, instead of the previous standard of a sedan that gets 21 mpg.
        Developing and implementing an environmental management system (EMS) is another way to integrate lasting purchasing changes within an organization.

SOLUTION: Use social marketing tools.
        Much research has been conducted to determine how to encourage adoption of sustainable behavior. Asking for commitments, educating, and providing prompts has been shown to be effective to help ingrain behavior changes.
        To read more on the topic of community-based social marketing, which can be applied to changing purchasing behavior within an organization, check out http://www.cbsm.com.

SOLUTION: Mandate green purchasing.
        Of course, no policy discussion would be complete without including the “stick” tool. Requiring the use of environmentally preferable products stimulates markets, changes purchasing protocols, and can have a lasting effect on both markets and purchasing behavior.
        In 1998 the Federal government mandated that government agencies use paper made from at least 30% post-consumer materials. This has resulted in a 12% reduction in energy used to produce copier paper for the Federal government, and has helped to stimulate the market for greener papers. Many state and local governments also buy greener paper as required by other regulations ranging from the Resources Conservation and Recovery Act to specific local resolutions.
        City and county ordinances, as well as state executive orders also drive green purchasing. For a lengthy list of policies adopted across the US, check out the listing at the Center for a New American Dream at http://www.newdream.org/procure/policy/type.html. Products specified include green energy, process-chlorine-free recycled paper, re-refined oil, efficient vehicles, green buildings and more.

Next Steps...

        Although this is just a sampling of the green purchasing occurring in the region, it features some of the creative solutions used to overcome the challenges and make green purchasing work.
        Industry and government leaders are institutionalizing environmentally preferable purchasing, and are starting to look toward sustainable purchasing, which includes economic, and social equity concerns, in addition to environmental ones.
        The City of Seattle’s Copernicus Project, Portland’s Sustainable Supplier Council, and various Northwest corporations and businesses are working to develop models to integrate all these priorities into purchasing decisions and to move our corner of the country one step closer to sustainability.

Green Purchasing Projects at PPRC

PPRC is a regional resource on environmentally preferable purchasing. Here’s a list of our current green purchasing projects:

Electronics - Assist creation of a federal “customer base” for a rating system to facilitate purchase and management of greener electronic equipment. Contact: Viccy Salazar (salazar.viccy@epa.gov) or Eun-Sook Goidel (esgoidel@pprc.org)

Mercury - Conduct analysis of mercury-containing products in Washington. Contact: Cheri Peele (chep461@ecy.wa.gov), Michelle Gaither (mgaither@pprc.org)

Paper - Manage the Federal Network for Sustainability’s Paper Campaign that aims to reduce environmental impacts of copier paper through greener purchasing and use strategies. (http://www.federalsustainability.org/initiatives/gfcp.htm) Contact: Barbara Lither (lither.barbara@epa.gov) or Eun-Sook Goidel (esgoidel@pprc.org)

Green Purchasing Website - Develop content including list of individual green products. Contact Rob Reuter (rreu461@ecy.wa.gov) or Crispin Stutzman (cstutzman@pprc.org)

State of Washington - Develop strategies to institutionalize environmentally preferable purchasing within the state. Contacts: Patricia Jatczak (pjat461@ecy.wa.gov), Jerry Parker (jepa461@ecy.wa.gov), or Eun-Sook Goidel (esgoidel@pprc.org)

Upcoming Purchasing Events

LEED(tm) Green Building Rating System: Can This Concept Be Applied to Other Industries?

When: 9/19/02, 7:30 - 10:00am
Where: Portland, Oregon

The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED(tm)) rating system is a voluntary, market-driven building rating system based on existing proven technology. It has proven to be a highly successful concept for transforming the environmental performance of a significant portion of the building industry in a relatively short period of time. This meeting will address its development, lessons learned, and how such concepts might be applied to other industries and products. To register, contact Steve Radtke at 503-241-1140 or steve@ortns.org.

 

Ask an Expert: Driving Sustainable Markets

When:
9/19/02 ~ Harnessing Alternative Energy
9/26/02 ~ Sustainable Coffee
10/3/02 ~ Sustainable Wood
Where: Your Desk!

These web chats are intended for purchasers, students, professors or facilities managers. The sessions cover green purchasing at higher education institutions, but the discussions will be of interest to other purchasers as well.
    For more information, and copies of transcripts from 3 teach-ins already held (“Purchasing Guidelines,” “Progressive Purchasing,” and “Creating a Sustainable Paper Industry”) see http://www.nwf.org/
campusecology/
drivingsustainablemarkets.cfm
or contact Kathy Cacciola at cacciola@nwf.org.

 

Sustainable Products Training©: Conference on Sustainable Products, Buildings, Vehicles & Certified Wood

When: 10/9/02 - 10/10/02
Where: Vancouver, British Columbia

Participants will learn about sustainable products standards and about the rapidly growing market for these products. Attendees will receive the 700 page Sustainable Products Training Manual ©, learn why and how major agencies recognize these standards in their purchasing policies, and find out how major corporations increase their profitability through sustainable products. Learn more at visit http://www.sustainableproducts.com/
bcannounce/announce.html
or contact Martine Desbois at 250-952-0668 or info@SustainableProducts.com.


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Buying
Computers?

The Northwest Product Stewardship Council developed a helpful fact sheet on environmentally preferable computer purchasing with a list of questions to ask manufacturers. See it at http://www.productstewardship.net/
productsElectronicsEPPGuide.html
.

 
Michelle Gaither
Technical Lead

(mgaither@pprc.org)

        I became very interested in environmental and consumption/materialism issues during and after receiving my MS in Environmental Science in 1995 from WSU Tri-Cities (Go Cougs!) This initial foray into learning about the impacts of our industrial and individual activities on the environment fostered my pursuit of a career in this area.
        Michelle GaitherPrevious to studying Environmental Science, I had unknowingly put a bit of pollution prevention (P2) into practice as an industrial engineer (B.S. UW 1988: REALLY GO HUSKIES) at a small electronics firm. I wish I had more P2 knowledge back in the days when I was strictly doing industrial engineering.
        Now I happily work here at PPRC, completing a hodge-podge of information requests and deluges, supporting our web information development, and tackling a diversity of projects that come my way. I have been involved with, and worked with PPRC on and off since 1995. I currently work slightly less than half-time, due to two wonderful young boys, ages 3.5 and nearly 2, who keep me quite busy (and entertained) at the homefront.
        Prior to PPRC (and after my stint as an industrial engineer), I worked for several years with the Clean Washington Center (CWC) in Seattle, focusing on finding new products and uses for recycled and recovered materials. While studying for my MS in Environmental Science, I had the opportunity to support efforts by Battelle / Pacific Northwest National Labs at the Hanford site in eastern Washington, to implement recycling, waste minimization, environmental procurement, and more. As challenging and wonderful as this job was, upon graduating in 1995, I just had to return to the west side of Washington State and “rehydrate.”
        Aside from PPRC involvement, I enjoy many sports, especially hoops, cycling, and chasing kids. I also keep busy with organic gardening, home improvements on our 1917 craftsman house (trying to incorporate green construction to the extent possible), and hosting big BBQs. end

New Environmental Measurement Hub
        This resource can be used as a “primer” to the topic of environmental measurement. It includes background information, reasons to measure, ideas for developing your own measurement system, and available resources, as well as a comprehensive list of links on the topic. Check it out at http://www.pprc.org/hubs/toc.cfm?hub=1000&subsec=7&nav=7.

Find Funding Fast
        PPRC recently unveiled a new updated version of its popular web resource, the Request For Proposals (RFP) Clearinghouse. It can now be searched by keyword, main topic, and geographic area eligible for funding, and includes dozens of currently available funding opportunities. The site also includes a page for funders to suggest a new addition to the RFP Clearinghouse. If you’re seeking funding, or publicizing an RFP, take a look. The Clearinghouse is located at http://www.pprc.org/rfp/rfp.cfm.

Business For Social Responsibility Meeting
        “Return on Responsibility” is the theme of this year’s annual BSR meeting. The meeting will allow attendees to learn about the changing requirements of corporate social responsibility; network with business peers and engage with innovative business thinkers; and take home innovative strategies and practices that add value to business and society. The meeting will be held November 5 – 8, 2002 in Miami, Florida. You can learn more and view the conference agenda at http://www.bsr.org/BSRServices/
2002/ConferenceHome.cfm
. BSR also aims to make this meeting a zero emissions event and demonstrate how important – and easy – it is for companies and organizations to host sustainable events. Learn more at http://www.bsr.org/BSRServices/
2002/GreenMeeting.cfm
.

Oregon Leads Nation in Providing Incentives for Green Building, Energy Efficiency
        A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy names Oregon as a national leader in using tax incentives to give energy-efficient products and green buildings a leg up in the marketplace. It details Oregon’s residential and business income tax credit programs, the state’s 35 percent income tax credit to businesses for the incremental cost of energy-efficient equipment and buildings, and other incentives that support alternative energy systems, recycling and commute trip reduction, and the purchase of efficient appliances, motor vehicles and alternative energy systems. The full report is available from http://aceee.org/pubs/e021full.pdf.

Bioenergy Conference in Idaho
        This conference will highlight the latest bioenergy technologies; showcase existing and near term biomass opportunities; provide an overview of near-commercial bioenergy programs; identify common goals in renewable energy such as climate change; discuss the common bond with agriculture where biomass meets the road (agriculture plus energy); and educate people who could benefit from bioenergy. It will be held from September 22 - 26 in Boise. For more information call 208-885-7906 or 208-327-7692 or visit the web site at http://www.bioenergy2002.org.

Seattle Passes Persistent Pollutant Resolution
        The Seattle City Council unanimously passed a resolution to begin the process of phasing out the purchase of toxic products such as chlorine-bleached paper, penta-treated utility poles, mercury switches in cars and PVC (vinyl) office materials and building supplies. Seattle is the first city in the country to commit to phasing out products containing persistent toxics or those that result in persistent pollution during their manufacture. These chemicals include mercury, dioxin and pentachlorophenol. The resolution instructs the Office of Sustainability to come up with an implementation plan to phase out certain products by October. For more information, visit http://www.watoxics.org/toxmenu.asp?xsl=release&source=press/pr_2002_07_01 and http://www.cityofseattle.net/
news/detail.asp?ID=2758
.

Call For Papers on Bio-based Materials Impacts
        The use of biomass to replace petrochemically-based feedstocks has P2 potential. Advances in biotechnology have made this technology both more cost-effective and potentially “greener.” Several recent studies, however, have cast doubt on the environmental desirability of bio-based materials, highlighting the need for systems-based analyses. A special issue of the Journal of Industrial Ecology will examine this issue and the environmental implications of increased use of bio-based materials and fuels, including biopolymers, bio-ethanol, biodiesel and other biomass products. The deadline for submissions is December 2, 2002. More information is available at http://www.yale.edu/jie/cfpbiobased.htm.

P2 Week is September 16 - 22
        P2 Week is happening soon! The Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation has a web page of links and local links that may be useful for more information. Check it out at http://www.state.ak.us/local/
akpages/ENV.CONSERV/
dsps/compasst/pollprev.htm
. end

PPRC
Practical solutions for big environmental problems
PPRC, a non-profit organization, is the Northwest's leading source of high quality, unbiased environmental solutions information. Through a collaborative approach, we focus on solutions that integrate resource efficiency and environmental health into business, government, and communities. Board of Directors:
President: Joan Cloonan, J.R. Simplot Company, Boise
Vice President: Kirk Thompson, The Boeing Company, Seattle
Secretary: Jeffrey Leppo, Stoel Rives, LLP, Seattle
Treasurer: vacant
Rod Brown, Marten & Brown LLP, Seattle
Cheryl Koshuta, Port of Portland, Portland Alan Schuyler, Phillips Alaska, Anchorage
Staff:
Chris Wiley, Executive Director
Cathy Buller,
  Events, Networking & Marketing Lead
Al Campbell, Administrative Assistant
Michelle Gaither, Technical Lead
Eun-Sook Goidel,
  Green Purchasing Program Manager
Ken Grimm,
  Industry Outreach Lead
L.B. Sandy Rock, MD, MPH,
  Environment & Health Research Director
Ana Simon, Chief Financial Officer
Crispin Stutman,
  Information Services Manager
Pollution Prevention Northwest is published three times a year by PPRC. Part or all of the newsletter may be copied. Articles may be reprinted or distributed electronically only in their entirety with written permission from PPRC. Please credit the author (if any), followed by "Pollution Prevention Northwest, PPRC." To receive a free electronic subscription, contact PPRC.
Editor: Crispin Stutzman Address: 513 1st Ave. W, Seattle, WA 98119
Telephone: 206-352-2050
Fax: 206-352-2049
E-mail: office@pprc.org

 

© 1999, Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center
phone: 206-325-2050, e-mail: office@pprc.org, web: www.pprc.org
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